Saturday, 17 December 2011

Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

I feel I should state, straight away, that the reason for my picking up of this book lies solely on the shoulders of Dara O’Briain, Rory McGrath and Griff Rhys Jones. I had, actually, never heard of that book before their first show but I was intrigued by the idea of it so decided to put it on my vague TBR list (not as concrete as my TBR list but is more an ‘in the ether’ list).
The book follows the adventures of the narrator ‘J’(Jerome himself) and his two close friends George and Harris, along with J’s dog Montmorency (turns out he was fictional, the other two characters were real) as they hire a small sail boat and make their way from Kingston-Upon-Thames to Oxford  with the intention of spending the nights in the boat under a poorly rigged canvas structure.

J's account is a convoluted weaving together of travelling down the Thames interspersed with his imaginings of times gone past and reminiscing of other hapless adventures that he'd been on. I found it quite funny at times but at other points I felt like just skipping ahead as he rambled off on yet another tangent that was probably more related to his time than mine.

I believe I read somewhere that the book itself was started with the intention of it being a serious boating guide about travelling up the Thames, however the comedic nature of Jerome’s writing took over to the point where the comedy outweighed the serious passages. This is not, in fact, a bad thing as if it had been kept as a guide then I don't think it would have made it as a classic - instead I can imagine it being confined to that section of the bookstore only to peter out after a year and with the decline of boat travel popularity it would've disappeared for good.

This is a good read for the sort of person who enjoys reading books where they can recognise some landmarks (almost all of the places mentioned are still around, of course, and this includes some of the pubs!) but if you're not too good with British wit, travelling books or random, unconnected paragraphs of wittering then you may wish to not go for this book.

Overall, I enjoyed it and am rather glad I chose to read it. Now I can say I've read it, I'llenjoy thinking back on it whenever I visit these places and one of the pubs mentioned still looks absolutely gorgeous and may be visited ;D

1 comment:

kimba88 said...

this looks good..thanks for sharing it.